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Merseyside Youth Diversion Fund Update

Posted 10th July 2023

‘My goal is to keep more young people safe and engaged this summer’ says PCC Emily Spurrell as she announces successful Youth Diversion Fund projects

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has said her goal is to ‘keep more young people safe and engaged this summer’ as she announces the 23 projects which will share a total of £100,000 from her Youth Diversion Fund.

More than 2,500 young people are set to benefit from safe, positive activities running across the region during the six-week school break, thanks to grants from the latest round of Emily Spurrell’s funding pot.

This is the second summer, the Police Commissioner has run the Youth Diversion Fund, which is designed to give young people, particularly from deprived areas more opportunities during the school break when they may have little to do, while helping to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour which can spike when schools close.

The funding has been shared among eight grassroots community groups in Liverpool, five in Sefton, four successful organisations in Knowsley, and Wirral, and two from St Helens. Many of the organisations will also provide meals for the young people to ensure they are not going without during the school holidays.

Innovative projects including Beautiful New Beginnings who will use nearly £5,000 of funding to run six weeks of forest school activities for 100 children with additional needs, Blue River Support Services Cycle of Life who will offer bike maintenance and skills for young people form Toxteth and the L20 Hub who will offer art and craft sessions for 220 young people in Sefton, getting them involved in tidying up the area and creating a mural with a local artist.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “From survival skills to virtual reality gaming and badminton to boxing, my Youth Diversion Fund is going to fund a treasure trove of activities for young people this summer.

“My goal is to keep more young people safe and engaged in positive activities this summer, giving them the chance to try new experiences, learn extra skills and gain in confidence and self-esteem.

“We know the vast majority of young people who get involved in crime and ASB are bored and fed up. They want to do something positive with their time, but after years of austerity there is often very little to do in their areas and their families may not be able to afford holidays or expensive summer clubs.

“By offering them more exciting and interesting opportunities, we can prevent them from ever going down the path, broadening their horizons and giving them vital life skills. This has the great knock-on effect of reducing the pressure on the police, reducing the number of victims and making our communities safer, nicer places to live.”

A total of 112 applications requesting a total of nearly £450,000 were submitted for this round of funding – the most ever received by the Police Commissioner.

By working closely with her community safety partners, Emily was able to allocate the funding to 23 fantastic grassroots projects which are best placed to provide support for young people across the region.

The Youth Diversion Fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

CFM’s Programmes Director James Proctor said: “The Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youth Diversion Fund is a fantastic funding opportunity to support our local grassroots community organisations and their engagement work with young people.

“It is so important to recognise the valuable community projects on offer over the summer school holidays which allow young people to get involved in sporting, cultural, educational and crucially, fun activities which keeps them safe and helps to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour”.

Successful organisations

Please find details of all the successful organisations by area below -

Knowsley- 4 projects totalling £17,472 to benefit 530 young people

Centre 63 CIC - £5,000 to provide 180 at risk young people aged 11-17 with a wide range of activities including sport, art and culture during the six weeks of the summer holidays from the Kirkby area, as well as supporting families.

The Lee Cooper Foundation - £4,300 to provide free football, support and healthy refreshments activities to more than 100 young people in and around Prescot, from Monday to Saturday for 40 days across the summer holiday period. This will be a collaborative project with other youth providers in the area.

Halewood Youth in the Community - £4,272 to work with 175 young people aged 8–18-year-old in this area. It will be a four-week summer program with a number of activities including arts, crafts, cooking, music, games, sports, and more.

Sports Alive North West – £3,900 sees them working with 75 young people in Kirkby’s Northwood area carrying out outreach sessions in the summer holidays working in local parks to encourage young people aged 11-16 years old. They will take part in various sports activities and promote its youth centre in Northwood encouraging them to continue attending after the summer.

Liverpool – 8 projects totalling £34,840 for 550 young people

Beautiful New Beginnings - £4,930 to provide six weeks of forest school for 100 children with additional needs. Covers areas in need such as West Derby, Croxteth, Fazakerley, Everton, Norris green and Knowsley.

Blue River Support Services Cycle of Life - £4,860 for sessions surrounding bike maintenance and activities for five weeks for young people in Toxteth.

Capoeira for all CIC - £4,920 for physical activities, using music, personal development and community development, specifically targeting at risk children during the six-week summer holidays in Princes Park ward and Toxteth.

Liverpool Lighthouse - £3,250 for a four-week summer club for children from 6 to 18. Offering theatre and singing in Anfield, Everton, and Kensington.

Priority Youth Project - £5,000.00 for activities for 80 young people aged 11 to 18, such as horse riding, cookery, sports, therapeutic workshops in West Derby, Knotty Ash, Yew Tree and Old Swan.

The Greenbank Project - £3500 to offer activities seven days of the week for 50 young people with disabilities, including basketball, table tennis, badminton and more.

The New Belve Youth and Community Sports Centre Ltd - £3,380 to support 40 young people aged, 13 to 25 who are at risk providing sport and talking sessions to tackle ASB in Riverside, Dingle and Toxteth areas.

Tiber Community Building - £5,000 to provide sessions of football and physical fitness to 200 children over six weeks of summer in Toxteth and Kensington

Sefton – 5 projects totalling £20,272.82 for 600 young people

Conquer Life CIC - £3,205 to provide diversionary activities for 120 12–18-year-olds over the 6 weeks. There will be 2 sessions a week. Half of them will be outreach in local parks, signposting at risk youth to the centre and opening a dialogue. The other half will give them access to the "youth pub" providing the children and teens with a place to socialise and receive free refreshments and snacks whilst taking part in age-appropriate activities and accessing a "youth market" where young people can run their own businesses.

Netherton Park Community Association - £4,698 to provide sport, guided play and street safety sessions for 70 vulnerable children. It will be led by a specialised youth worker. Participants will design content and take part in activities in the local community.

The Inclusion Network CIC. £4,138 to deliver a health, wellbeing, and fishing early intervention project for 30 at risk youth over the holidays. It will take place 2 days a week and cover a variety of skills including fitness, cooking, and forest school.

The L20 Hub - £3,233 for 220 beneficiaries to work with a local artist to design a mural. Young people would get involved through graffiti art classes, design, and painting the mural, they would also do litter picking and water sessions in the canal. Additional weekly art and craft sessions will be provided, using natural sources from their garden and local forest.

Waterloo Hotshots CIC - £4,998 to run a Summer Holiday Club for 160 young people providing them with access to tennis coaching and activities. There is also space for indoor activities, a music system, and TV. Other sports and games will be offered along with arts and crafts. Forest school is also an option due to the Tennis Club's extensive grounds.

St Helens – 2 projects totalling £9,030 for 168 young people

Positive Life CIC - £5,000 to provide 108 young people in St Helens town centre with virtual reality sessions for the likes of art risk youngsters, young carers and other disadvantaged groups being targeted. The VR games provided will encourage them to build skills and confidence and improve their mental health.

My Outdoor Classroom CIC - £4,030 to provide free activities for 60 children aged 5-14 during the summer holidays with a variety of outdoor activities including den building, art, campfire cooking, wood craft, and foraging teaching life skills working in St Helens green spaces.

Wirral – 4 projects totalling £18,392 for 740 young people

Byrne Avenue Trust - £4,542 to provide exciting activities four evenings per week throughout the summer holidays, including “Have a Go” sessions, sports tournaments and arts and crafts for 50 young people aged 11-16 in Rock Ferry.

Our Happy Hub - £4,300 to run creative and holistic sessions, including art therapy and reiki, for 350 children and young people in the Noctorum area.

The Belvidere Centre - £4,550 to facilitate sporting activities such as climbing, golfing and cycling in partnership with Wallasey’s Detached Youth Work Team, and between three local youth centres. The sessions will be available to 300 children and young people and will operate in and around Wallasey.

Women’s Enterprising Breakthrough - £5,000 to host weekly group sessions in Birkenhead for young people aged between 9 and 18, delivering a wide range of activities including football, arts and crafts, photography and more.

Merseyside total - £100,006 for 23 projects to benefit 2,588 young people.